Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Anilao, Batangas

I've been going to the Mabini area in Batangas since I first fell in love with diving in 1997. Its changed a lot since then, for the better at that. There are more marine life, more corals, less dead or dying reefs and definitely more people. Nowadays, tourists go there not only to dive now but to surf, snorkel and basically just enjoy the waters surrounding this amazing part of Batangas. My instructor, Mr.Jijo De Guzman, recently acquired a place there and he invited me over. Quite a cozy place really. The beach front is just a bit dirty but its a great place to relax and unwind.

PLUS its in the area where the wind is strongest, so its the best area for wind surfing. It aslo provides a great base for dives as its still in mabini and near the great dive spots. We went to Sepok wall and Arthur's on the first day and then to Saddle and finally to Cathedral on the second day for some fish feeding. The weather cooperated and stayed sunny until we finished our very last dive - awesome! Hisumi, our Japanese techie, went with me and enjoyed snorkling around while we dove and did our S.I.T.

(photos: TopRight:BeachBum resort front, TopLeft: Hisumi in front of rest area with upper deck, UpperRight:dive gear setup station, Right:sails and windsurfing equipmnt)

It takes about 3.5 to 4hours to get to Anilao from Quezon City. There is a (fairly) new expressway called the StarTollway built to bypass LIPA. So far, this is the quickest way to get to Anilao. Take the SLEX and exit at Calamba. Make a right towards Batangas and 7 kilometers later you will see the entrance to this Star Tollways. This bypass is about 20 kilometers from tip to tip and you'd want to go all the way to the other end.

Normal price for an overnight stay in Anilao for a non diver ranges from 2000pesos to 2,900 pesos, and about 3000 to 3900 pesos for a diver including 4 meals and 4 dives. If you plan to rent dive equipment or any watersports equipment then this will go higher of course.

(photos:UpperRight:Jijo taken by ReneDeGuzman on CanonIxus750 June 11, 2006, UpperLeft: Gary with fish swarm, taken by JijoDeGuzman on Sony P10 June 11, 2006)